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Dewa Budjana - 2013 - "Dawai in Paradise"

(72:48, Moonjune Records)


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TRACK LIST:

1.  Lalu Lintas 7:44
2.  Gangga 5:53
3.  Masa Kecil 4:38
4.  Kromatik Lagi 5:52
5.  Back Home 5:47
6.  Malacca Bay 10:37
7.  Kunang Kunang 6:36
8.  Caka 1922 5:52
9.  Rerad Rerod 5:09
10. On the Way Home 5:55
11. Dancing Tears 5:59
12. Devananda 2:47

LINEUP:

Dewa Budjana Ц guitars 
Sandy Winarta Ц drums 
Shadu Rasjidi Ц bass 
Saat Syah Ц flute 
Indra Lesmana Ц keyboards 
With:
Vinod Gangani Ц vocals 
Sophia Latjuba Ц vocals 
Wavan Ц violoncello 
Oni & Helmi Ц violin 
Surti Ц viola 

Prolusion. Indonesian guitarist and composer Dewa BUDJANA has been active in the Indonesian music scene since the early 80's, arguably best know for his long tenure in the Indonesian rock band Gigi. But besides his accomplishments in this more mainstream oriented band he's been an active solo artist since the mid 90's. "Dawai in Paradis" is the fifth of his six solo albums, originally released back in 2011 and reissued by the US label Moonjune Records in 2013.

Analysis. "Dawai in Paradise" is a production that has been in development for quite some time. The earliest compositions were recorded back in 2000, the most recent ones in 2011. With a good few musicians involved in the process, besides Budjana, a staggering 25 musicians have been involved in a minor or major way in the recording process. Which goes some way in explaining the variety at hand, although one might have expected the end result to be even more varied than it is when regarded in this particular context. A striking feature especially on the first half or so of this album is the moods and atmospheres. Light toned, positive compositions dominate early on, plenty of them meriting a description as jubilant: joyful music, inspiring in a very positive manner. Later on moods of melancholy and even sadness appear, darker toned undercurrents are introduced and a track like Rerad Rerod I noted down as a haunting piece of music. The stylistic expression isn't quite too contrasting or varied. Folk music, or perhaps world music a better word, is a key detail on the greater majority of compositions. Flute details and backing vocals are central in providing this element, but also some of the guitar textures appear to be more closely related with world music than any other genre, and the same can be said for a few, occasional percussion and rhythm details. Drums and bass guitar tend to add a more jazz-oriented touch to the proceedings however, again with some guitar details further enhancing this part of the themes explored. As for the guitar work of Budjana, he merrily wanders between acoustic folk based expressions, gentle excursions with more of a jazz oriented sound and forays that add a gentle touch of rock to the proceedings, often in layered constellations combining at least two of these features. Gently wandering and plucked guitar motifs appear to be his forte whatever style his performance gives associations towards, although he will occasionally showcase that darker tinged riff constructions and solo runs of a more spirited character are well within his capabilities too. Smooth, elegant piano and keyboard details further supplement the themes explored, as do occasional use of strings. The end result is an elegant constellation of material, melodic and accessible on a superficial level, soft and sophisticated material easy on the ears and the mind. Those with a taste for material of a more challenging nature will find subtle details to enjoy, occasional use of careful effects contrasting the otherwise melody-based arrangements, but the compositions as a whole are by and large not of the kind that will appeal to the crowd in search of demanding, highly experimental music.

Conclusion. Dewa Budjana's fifth solo album "Dawai in Paradise" resides somewhere in the borderlands between world music, accessible jazz-fusion and mainstream-oriented jazz rock. Strong and distinct melodies, smooth arrangements with soft edges with high quality performance by the instrumentalists involved are defining traits. A high quality production where a possible key audience would be those who enjoy world music alongside accessible varieties of jazz, jazz rock and fusion.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: October 1, 2013
The Rating Room


Related Links:

Moonjune Records
Dewa Budjana


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